Skipjack

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by Addicted2Cats, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. Addicted2Cats

    Addicted2Cats New Member

    Messages:
    68
    State:
    West Chester, Ohio
    Apparentally cut skipjack is supposed to be the bait for large cats, especially blues. Where can I find/buy skipjack in south western Ohio? How do you catch them? What size is ideal? Does anyone have sucess stories using skipjack? Big blues are my target fish this year and I hope this will give me the edge!
     
  2. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    Hey Maxwell, Welcome to the BOC, Lil'Brother!!!

    We catch them in the tailtraces of dams around here on,1/8oz jigheads W/white curly tailed grubs.Tie 3 on your line about 12" apart and cast them into the swift water. Sometimes they like a medium retrieve and most times they like a fast retrieve, you have to do a little experimenting with the retrieve to find what they are hitting on. Sometimes you will have to try different colors too.
     

  3. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,187
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Sabiki rigs work good too. Good luck
     
  4. FAT_CAT

    FAT_CAT New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Tennessee
    Welcome Maxwell,

    Down here, skipjack is the common name for blueback herring, considered by some to be a nuisance fish, but they do make great bait because they are very oily. Near dams have been the best spot so far. We catch them up to about 16 inches long and they can get to 4lbs. Usually I throw the heads on a hook after cutting them right behind the gill, if you find a school of cats this should do the trick and the bigger one's really seem to like the heads, but I threw a whole live 11 incher out on Sunday night and caught a 53 lb blue. I'm not 100% sure the bait was still alive because the rod was jerking for about 45 minutes before my line was stripped. The middle section that holds the gut-pocket has worked also, we usually cut them in steaks before we head out to the water as it can same time and aggravation. If you google a search for blueback herring I'm sure you can find more information and maybe even find out if they run in or near the body of water that you fish.


    :0a26: Danny
     
  5. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    My dream cut of skipjack for a big blue is a smallish medium size skippie. Just the right size so I can cut the head off at an angle from just behind the head on top to just in front of the anus on the bottom. The idea is to include the gut pocket with the head, and to cut into the gut pocket on the rear so the juices can leak out more readily.
     
  6. gofish

    gofish New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Greenville MS
    I do about the same as Jerry. I try to use a head and gut pocket as one bait. Also, the advice about where to find skips and what to use sound good to me. I usually catch skips at the power company warm water discharge on the river. The closest dam to me is about an hour drive. I usually use crappie jigs with two or three spaced about a foot apart. Usually two are less trouble than three. Color makes a big difference sometimes. Old faithful for me is a solid silver hair jig. I've seen one color out catch another by 5 or more to one. Experiment a little and see what works for you. The sabiki rigs work well sometimes too but they sure can be a pain in the you-know-what. Again, experiment a bit and see what is most productive in your area.
     
  7. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    We'll do some skipjack fishing when they're running good below the dams here in Arkansas, but we mainly rely on our annual spring skippie run to Pickwick dam on the Tennessee River. Last year, we brought back about 300#; enough to completely fill a 7 cubic foot chest freezer.
     
  8. Jamey

    Jamey New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Pegram, Tennessee

    Um...not quite. Blueback herring are considered nuisance fish for a reason, and they're also illegal in Tennessee. As stated in the fishing regulations, "It is unlawful to possess or transport the following animals; blueback herring...."

    Here's some more info on blueback herring and TWRA's feelings about them:
    http://www.tnfish.org/Blueback/BluebackHerring.htm
     
  9. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Kinda wierd. I followed the link to that website, and while it did claim that "As stated in the fishing regulations, "It is unlawful to possess or transport the following animals; blueback herring...."", when I followed their links to the fishing regulations, I found no such mention. I went directly to Tennessee's state fishing regs, and still didn't find any such mention of being unable to possess blueback herring (skipjack). Also, it seems odd that if it's illegal, why haven't any of the game wardens working below Pickwick Dam in Tennessee ticketed anyone for possessing skipjack? In the spring, people are lined up and down the bank catching them for bait. We've been going there every spring for about 5 years now, and haven't seen or heard of anyone ever getting a ticket for possessing skipjack.
     
  10. Arkie55

    Arkie55 New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    Mississippi
    Like Jerry and Joe I use 1/16 oz crappie jigs bleow a dam. I usually have one white and one yellow to start with. Sometimes I have a white and a chartruse in tandum. That way I can figure out which color is best at the time I'm fishing and then switch both jigs to that color. I have found that the brighter the sun and better the bite. When it's hot, they usually like a fast retrieve. When things are right, you can catch plenty of bait for several trips. I bag mine in zip-lock bags, five or six to the bag and then place the bags in the ole freezer. When ready for a fishing trip, remove a bag or two and place them in a cooler on ice. They will remain forzen all day even in the hot summer weather. At the end of the day, put your un-used skippies back in the freezer for another day.
     
  11. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    Yes you are correct. Those are not skipjack. These are skipjack
     
  12. hoosier angler

    hoosier angler New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    Arizona
    I may be wrong but, I think you guys are talking about two different species of herring. The river herring also known as Skipjack is not the same fish as a blue back herring. I don't think the blue back ever gets neerly as big as the river herring found below Dams on the Tennesse River. I suppose there are as many slang terms for bait as is for the catfish! Replies?
     
  13. FAT_CAT

    FAT_CAT New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Tennessee
    lmao...ok you're right, i did some research and they are different. it's alright to correct someone, but do it in a respectful fashion. and i am looking at the fishing regulations booket and it is unlawful to possess or transport LIVE SPECIMENS of blueback herring....they're never live when i'm carrying them. all i know is we catch bluebacks up to 4lbs. and throw them out as cut-bait, everyone over here called them skipjacks
     
  14. Jamey

    Jamey New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Pegram, Tennessee
    Sorry guys, I didn't see these new replies before I replied! And I apologize if my reply sounded disrespectful, that was not what I intended! If I could, I would delete my replies...

    sorry!



    blueBack != skipJack;

    That's why there is no mention of skipjack (Alosa chrysochloris) being illegal in Tennessee - they're not. Blueback herring however (Alosa aestivalis), IS an illegal and invasive species. In fact, they're ranked up there with bighead carp and zebra mussels. Attached is a scanned section or two of page 27 of the 2006 Tennessee Fishing Regulations, which restates the same thing.

    Again, you're thinking of a different fish. Trust me, skipjack is my bait of choice for cats, and I'd be a habitual criminal if they were outlawed :)

    Skipjack: http://fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=1578

    Blueback: http://fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=1574

    Hope this helps!
     

    Attached Files:

  15. FAT_CAT

    FAT_CAT New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Tennessee
    I, too, did not mean to be disrespectful, just having a bad...year. I see people taking blueback out of the river and throwing them onto the shore to die, the reason that they are a nuisance fish explains that. But, when I catch them, and they are all over 1lb each and some of them get to around 4 lbs., I use them for cutbait or I throw them on alive....I am not transporting them alive anywhere. I've never caught a skipjack then, just hundreds of pounds of bluebacks. I am under the influence that you cannot release bluebacks in another body of water other than where they were caught, this would give meaning to the whole transportation reference...correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  16. Jamey

    Jamey New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Pegram, Tennessee
    I see people do the same thing here with skipjack, which AREN'T nuisance fish. At least to ME they're not a nuisance... I guess a lot of the striper fishermen at Cheatham Dam see things differently. :mad:

    I don't think I've ever caught a blueback, unless I mistook it for a skippie. :)

    As far as I can tell, the bluebacks are mainly a concern in the eastern part of the state right now (since 1998, they've been found in Melton Hill, Tellico, and Boone resevoirs). Even though I'm a stone's throw from Boone (until graduation next month), I never fish it (way too polluted for me, and I eat fish from the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers regularly :0a30: ).

    Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. And frankly, I think they're a lot more concerned about the LIVE part of the equation. Tennessee law says nothing about the transport or posession of DEAD invasive species, so if you use bluebacks as CUT bait, you needn't worry. In fact, bighead carp, snakeheads, walking catfish, pirhanas, stingrays, electric eels, etc are all fair game for bait - just make sure they're DEAD first! :thumbsup:
     
  17. MRR

    MRR New Member

    Messages:
    4,947
    State:
    Louisiana,Mo.
    WILL THE 1/8JIGHEAD W/WHITECURLYTAILED GRUD WORK ALL SEASON LONG OR ISIT A SPRING BAIT. HAVE NEVER TRIED IT. BUT SOUNDS SIMPLE ENOUGH.:confused:
     
  18. dixiedrifter

    dixiedrifter New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Tennessee
    For skipjack below pickwick dam, I use a tandem 1-2" long "rubber minnow" either with a black back and a pearlescent silvery bottom.

    I use a fast jerky motion and it absolutely drives the skipjack wild... on a good day I have folks giving me tons of weird looks when I reel in 2 skipjack at a time... sometimes back to back casts. Heck I've even drawn an audience before!

    They are getting hard to find, the only place I know of is Sorrell's Wholesale in Lexington, TN. They also got lots of fishing tackle and weights there cheap.

    Only place I know of where you can get Doc's Catfish Getter dip bait too.
     
  19. APD1146

    APD1146 New Member

    Messages:
    176
    State:
    New York
    Thanks to all you guys for finally describing what a skipjack was. I have been wondering for months now as you guys talked about using them. Here in New York we have the bluebach herring (Skipjack) come up the rivers to spawn. After spawning they die and fill the rivers and streams with their dead bodys. Great feed for cats, and other bottom dwellers as well as the raccoons and all the other animals you would figure to feed on them. Without those younng herring our bass and other fishing would be in trouble, as these provide a good deal of the food bass and other critters feed on, especially our perch and crappies.
    I usually use one of those Subunki (or however you spell it) rigs to catch all I want. Another trick which I use is to head for the dam and put my landing net as far down as I can reach where the water enters the power house for cooling. You can, if lucky fill your landing net with them.
    I usually then cut them in half and freeze them dry and loose on trays in the freezer, If not using them right away for cats or stripers. I then put them in freezer bags and keep until needed. You can take out as many bags as you think you will need for that days use. Cutting them in half first I find it a lot easier to fit more of them into each bag. I have used these thruout the year and had great success catching cats with them prepared this way.
    Just one man's thoughts.